The Los Angeles Lakers finally opened up their preseason on Satuday night as they fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-99. There were ups and downs on the night, but one thing that seemed to affect the Lakers was fatigue.
Head coach Luke Walton wanted his team to be in the best shape coming into camp and the players obliged. However, NBA game speed is different than anything else and the Lakers found themselves getting winded on Saturday.
Second-year forward Brandon Ingram noticed it as well and spoke on fatigue, as well as nerves, affecting the Lakers on Saturday night.
“It’s a combination of both,” Ingram said after shootaround Monday. “Going into the first preseason game, you definitely want to showcase your talents out there. I think we shot way too many threes, I think I shot way too many threes. Fatigue set in a little bit. We’ve got to get in better shape with the way we want to play.”
Ingram added that with the Lakers’ fast pace, conditioning is a must. “I think that’s just the way it goes. For us, we’re trying to emulate a fast-paced game. To do that takes a lot of energy. Trying to bring all our energy on the defensive end and bring it back on the offensive end is going to take us to condition a little bit more.”
Ingram looked much more comfortable in his preseason opener, though he did struggle with his shot. He made only four of his 15 shots, but was very aggressive and attacked the Timberwolves defense all night.
With the Lakers as a team making only five of 30 three-pointers, Ingram’s thoughts really ring true. Things don’t get any easier as Ingram and the rest of the Lakers will look build on Saturday’s performance against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.